To translate a manuscript between US and UK English, it’s not good enough to just change the English dictionary on your computer. While it is a good place to start, the differences between the two forms of English extend to more than just spelling. Mr Darcy is British, but Mr. Twain is American.
My readers will know that I’m working toward the publication of Hidden Traps: A Writer’s Guide to Protecting Your Online Platform, due to be released August 2017. It’s been an interesting journey: revisiting my nonfiction writing roots; learning about ISBNs and publishing options; and devising marketing strategies. It has definitely been a steep learning curve. I have learnt many things along this journey, topics of which will become future blog posts, but there is one aspect that I thought was perfect to reveal now.
Graphic designers think in images.
Looking back at it now, it seems so logical, but at the time that I commissioned the cover for Hidden Traps, it was a concept that completely eluded me. I’m a writer and editor. I spend so much of my time looking at how to craft that perfect sentence to convey the right picture. I’ve commissioned artwork before, providing only a line from my stories and getting the perfect image in return. Surely, I can do the same for a cover.
I’ll hang my head in shame now, because clearly my words weren’t enough.
Writing can be incredibly isolating. Let’s face it, family and friends will nod and smile sweetly, humoring our writing aspirations, but unless they are writers themselves, they will never understand the obsession that writing is. It is vital for your development as a writer to find other writers. Search for local writing groups. Join on-line networks. Participate in Twitter events like #PitchWars. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
This week’s post was written by Joynell Shultz, where she shares some of her insights on marketing books — knowledge gained through trial and error, and a lot of research. Perhaps you can gain a few ideas that might work for you too.
Self-editing is always an attractive option to the financial purse strings. However, professional editing is always preferred. A professional editor has no emotional attachment to your writing. Hence, they are likely to pick up things that you would have completely missed otherwise. However, before you hire a professional editor, ensure that you are hiring the right editor for the job — don’t hire a copyeditor for developmental editing, and vice versa.
If you’re in a writing slump, stuck for ideas, try changing your writing venue. Go to a local coffee shop, the park, the beach, even your backyard. The slight change in an environment might be all you need to get those creative juice flowing again.
While writing, we often have a list of words that we’ll fall back on when we can’t think of another word to write. Sometimes, we don’t even realise that we’re doing it. It’s not until our critique partners, beta readers, or editors point it out to us that we see the repetitive word glaring at us.
“How could I have missed that? It’s as obvious as the nose on my face.”
Well, it’s quite easy to miss things when you don’t know that they’re a problem. However, the solution is surprisingly simple.
You might think that your family and friends are brutally honest (my husband certainly is), but the feedback you get from fellow writers is completely different. Writers will often understand the mechanics behind writing — your family/friends won’t, unless they are also writers. In some respects, it is best to get feedback from those who don’t actually know you, because those comments will completely isolated from your person and be solely fixated on your writing.
Words do change their meanings as each generation develops their own colloquial tongue. The most notable word-meaning change would be for gay. The word, in it’s original context, means happy, bright, excited. However, now many don’t use the word gay in that fashion anymore because of its other common meaning: homosexual. Other words that have taken on colloquial meanings include cool, chill and dank.